Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Yes, it is a scam!

I read at least once  a week in news papers and magazines here about detoxification methods of human bodies. Some even give tips on how to do it using interesting techniques. Some place ads saying that they would do it for a fee. Books, boxes or bottles, with some combination of “detox”, “cleanse” or “flush” in the product name. Supplements, tea, homeopathy, coffee enemas, ear candles, and foot baths all promise detoxification. Naturopaths offer complete detoxification protocols, including vitamin drips and chelation. The ads run like this...

" Our methods are clinically proven to remove toxins"

" Our techniques are backed by science"

" Our products are laboratory tested and provide immediate relief from your ailments"

"Liver detoxification using liv 52".

“Detox” is a case of a legitimate medical term being turned into a marketing strategy – all designed to treat a nonexistent condition. The truth is you can't detoxify your body using these 'pseudo-science' techniques. Scientists say it is complete nonsense. ‘Detox’ has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning. In medicine, detoxification means treatments for dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or poisons, like heavy metals. Real detoxification is provided in hospitals when there are life-threatening circumstances. Other detoxification claims are just packages promoted by  entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated in your life time. There are the “ other toxins” that alternative health providers claim to eliminate. This form of detoxification is simply the co-opting of a real term to give legitimacy to useless products and services, while confusing consumers into thinking they’re science-based. Evaluating any detox is simple: We need to understand the science of toxins, the nature of toxicity, and how detox rituals, kits, and programs claim to remove toxins.

If your body really accumulates so many toxins that can't be eliminated by the body itself like these pseudo-science promoters say,  you would actually die of them!

Moreover, human bodies have 'natural cleansers' like kidneys, liver, skin, digestive system, lymphatic system and lungs to carry out detoxification processes.  

"Sense about Science" tried to find evidence for these detox claims but couldn't find any(1). When the scientists asked for evidence behind the claims, not one of the manufacturers could define what they meant by detoxification, let alone name the toxins! The language these pseudo-science people use is vague, toxins are not named, symptoms of  poisoned bodies are so vague and general ( headaches, fatigues, insomnia, hunger or lack of  it)  that you feel you really are under their influence!

There is no credible evidence to demonstrate that detox kits do anything at all according to scientists. They have not been shown to remove  “toxins” or offer any health benefits. Some have only placebo effects. The lifestyle implications of a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, lack of sleep, and alcohol or drug use cannot simply be flushed or purged away!

 In fact, some juice cleanses used in detox methods are so low in calories that they will slow down your metabolism. Any weight you lose is likely to be water, carbohydrate stores, and intestinal bulk. It will just return when you start eating normally again. Detox diets can cause stomach upset and blood sugar swings. Most detox diets fail to include enough fiber. And fiber is what helps clean our digestive tracts! Now, that’s ironic—a cleansing diet that leaves out the cleaner? If they’re high in fruit juices, they can cause blood sugar swings. This makes them downright dangerous for people with diabetes—and risky for many others. Detox diets don’t supply enough protein and can leave you hungry. When we don't get enough protein, we get hungry a lot faster. And protein deficiencies can make it harder, not easier, for our bodies to clear themselves of toxins. What’s more, without adequate protein, we lose muscle mass.

What is worse is some of these treatments are actually harmful! Like the coffee enemas (2). Coffee enemas are considered unsafe and should be avoided. Rare but serious adverse events like septicemia (bacteria in the bloodstream), rectal perforation, and electrolyte abnormalities have been caused by coffee enemas. Deaths from the administration of coffee enemas have been reported.

A laxative – Typically magnesium hydroxide, senna, rhubarb, cascara, etc. Laxatives are the ingredients in detox kits that give you the effect you can see (and feel). However, these ingredients can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances if not used carefully. Regular use of stimulant laxatives, like senna and cascara, are ill-advised for most healthy adults due to the risk of dependence and electrolyte depletion.

When I was very young even my mother used to give me and my sister these laxatives ( especially castor oil) now and then on the advice of my grandmothers. I remember I used to feel very weak after the treatment. Now I know why and I advise all the mothers not to do this to their children.  Like other laxatives, you shouldn’t use it for long, or it can make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients and some drugs. If you overdo it, that can damage your bowel muscles, nerves, and tissue -- which can cause constipation.

Side effects can continue once a detox ends. Some people experience post-detox effects like nausea and diarrhea. Advocates call these “cleansing reactions” and will assure you it’s “toxins leaving the body”. A more plausible, science-based explanation is that this is a consequence of restarting the digestion process after a period of catharsis, where, depending on the extent and duration of fasting, little to no digestion occurred, and the normal gastrointestinal flora may have been severely disrupted. It’s the same effect seen in hospitalized patients who have difficulty initially digesting food after being fed intravenously. The detox ingredients, and resulting catharsis, may irritate the colon to such an extent that it may take time to return to normal.

Doctors say this about Liv 52: We would recommend not to take that tablet. There is no guideline in clinical medicine to take any such tablet, neither is anything called liver detox. If you want your liver to be good, avoid those who can damage your liver. They are fats, oils, red meat, alcohol, physical inactivity, few medicines and water mixed with heavy metals.

So if you find ads for products like detoxifying tablets, beverages, beauty products or methods like colonic irrigation,  oil messages, tonics just ignore them. They aren't worth trying unless you want to waste your hard earned money. 

Just eat a reasonable amount of food - not excess - for the food based toxins not to accumulate in your body. Try not to eat foods that might cause harm to human bodies. Eat sufficient amounts of vegetables and fruits. Drink enough fluids. Allow reasonable breaks between dinner the previous night and breakfast next morning (10-12 hours) for the body to function efficiently. These are some natural practices that help in body detoxification.

And if you face any health problems just visit  authentically trained medical practitioners. If your doctor can't do anything about them, it is true that nobody else can either!

After reading this a lady asked this Q: Does vaginal steaming work or is it another scam?

Krishna's reply: Vaginal steaming can burn you! A case story of a lady published in  the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, says: The woman had been suffering from a prolapsed vagina and believed the treatment could help avoid surgery. Vaginal steaming, which involves sitting over a hot water and herb mix, has seen a growth in popularity. It and other treatments for intimate areas, including vulva facials, are now available at some salons and spas. Some celebrities too are promoting it. 

Spas advertising "v-steaming" claims it has been used throughout history in countries in Asia and Africa. They say the practice, which is sometimes called Yoni steaming, acts to "detox" the vagina.

Experts, however, warn it can be dangerous and say there is no proven medical evidence for the health claims being made, including that steaming can ease period pains or help with fertility. It is a "myth" that the vagina requires extensive cleaning or treatment. Using plain, unperfumed soaps on the external vulva area only is enough to clean it. The vagina contains good bacteria too, which are there to protect it. Steaming the vagina could affect this healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels and cause irritation, infection (such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush) and inflammation. It could also burn the delicate skin around the vagina (the vulva).

The injured woman, whose story was reported above, attempted to steam her vagina on the advice of a traditional Chinese doctor. The woman, who gave permission for her case to be shared, sat over the boiling water for 20 minutes on two consecutive days before presenting at an emergency department with injuries. She sustained second-degree burns and had to delay reconstructive surgery while she healed. 

Experts warn that unconventional therapies like steaming can spread through channels like the internet and word-of-mouth and can cause harm to people if they go for it.




Views: 1064

Replies to This Discussion


Do detoxes work?

The short answer is no. A review published in 2022 found detox diets failed to identify plausible pathways by which toxins could be eliminated, or the specific toxins supposedly removed by a particular diet.

This review also pointed out that detoxes defy the general principles of human physiology, in that the liver and kidneys are quite efficient at removing toxins from our bodies.

A previous review from 2015 similarly found studies did not provide convincing evidence to support the use of detox diets.

Detox products don't have to prove they're effective to be on the market. In Australia, complementary medicines sold over the counter are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, with ingredients assessed for quality and safety, but not whether the products actually work.

You should check any product and marketing claims before purchasing to see what the manufacturers say. Big promises to be sceptical about include eliminating toxins, rapid weight loss, stronger willpower, improved self-esteem, an energy or immunity boost, feeling happier, inner peace, or better skin, hair and nails.

Potential dangers of detoxing

Consuming detox products in place of a regular diet leads to a very low total kilojoule intake, and therefore may lead to weight loss in the short term. But they're not a sustainable way to lose weight.

Detox diets that severely restrict kilojoules or food groups increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Adverse effects include fatigue, irritability and bad breath.

There's also a risk detox product ingredient labels might not be accurate, increasing the risk of side effects, potential overdoses or other adverse events. In Spain, a 50-year-old man died after an incorrect ingredient was added to a liver cleanse detox product he used, leading to manganese poisoning.

A 2018-19 audit of premises in New South Wales performing colonic irrigation found failures to meet infection control standards.

Some people should definitely not try detoxing. This includes people with chronic medical conditions, eating disorders, older adults, children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

One positive aspect of detox programs is that they may help raise awareness of your current food, alcohol or lifestyle habits that could be improved. Reflecting on these can potentially provide the motivation to try and eat more healthily.The Conversation

Source:  original article.


© 2024   Created by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service